graditudinal december – entry #1

Yeah, the blog’s been moribund for quite some time. Not much of a surprise. I could go into all the reasons why I think I’ve been away, but I’ve probably mentioned them the last few times I’ve taken an hiatus. What it boils down to? Just not been in a creative mood is all. Hell, with the exception of an odd day here and there, I’ve not really been in much of a mood to write anywhere. Even in friends’ blogs.

Not that things have been bad, mind you. It’s just that my brain hasn’t wanted to string words together and I haven’t been forcing it to.

But the ever fabulous Jeri has decided to post a new gratitude each day during December and the superb Janiece has followed Jeri’s lead, so I thought I’d give it a shot too. Hey, I’m all about the middle-aged peer pressure, baby!

(Plus I really do think it’s a good idea, even if I’m not quite as displeased with the holiday season as Jeri and Janiece are.)

I’m grateful for my relative good health.

I’ve been experiencing a number of health issues lately (lower back pain, abdominal pain, headaches) and have undergone test and exams to determine the root of these issues.

(BTW, whoever came up with the prep for colonoscopies? Evil. Simply evil. But the person who thought up the sedation for the colonoscopy procedure? You oughta be sainted. Lalalala!)

It turns out that, aside from a completely unsurprising hiatal hernia (oh, Prilosec, how I love your ability to suppress the chronic heartburn I’ve been experiencing since my teen years), my current health issues are fairly minor and easily treatable (though I must say farewell to my beloved ibuprofen – it makes my abdomen very unhappy). I’m working with my doctors and taking positive steps to make me all better.

True, I’m not SuperHealthyWoman. But all things considered, I’m not doing too badly. For that, I am grateful.

unbelievable generosity

Well, my participation in Holidailies didn’t last long, did it? Obviously I just can’t get myself to writing these days, so I’ll just move along to the main point of this entry: Christmas and CuteFilmNerd’s unbelievable generosity.

CuteFilmNerd and I went up to Fresno to visit my mom, my sister and her family. This time around we opted to stay at a motel, since last year we had to sleep separately when we stayed at my sister’s place. In the main rooms. With children and dogs traipsing through early in the morning, which isn’t conducive to sleeping. It made it a much more relaxed visit for me and, I think, for CuteFilmNerd. And, even though CuteFilmNerd isn’t big into holidays, he appreciated being around my family for the second Christmas in a row. It was very sweet.

I thought I was doing pretty good with the Christmas present getting (got him a number of things that he’d been talking about for awhile, including a film splicer used at MGM decades ago, which he had been looking at on eBay over the previous months), but CuteFilmNerd went a little crazy with the presents for me. I’m still stunned.

Beautiful toaster oven, which I've been wanting forever, and a very cool cookbook.
Beautiful toaster oven, which I've been wanting forever, and a very cool cookbook.

A few politically themed gifts, which makes a lot of sense with us, as we originally bonded over politics.
A few politically themed gifts, which makes a lot of sense with us, as we originally bonded over politics.

Browncoat goodness! Yay!
Browncoat goodness! Yay!

A Sherlock-tastic Christmas, including a couple of DVD sets of rare Holmes recordings. CuteFilmNerd certainly knows my love of Holmes.
A Sherlock-tastic Christmas, including a couple of DVD sets of rare Holmes recordings. CuteFilmNerd certainly knows my love of Holmes.

And the pièce de résistance:

An amazing camera. All of the previous photos were taken with the CoolPix that CuteFilmNerd gave me. I'm still kinda reeling.
An amazing camera. All of the previous photos were taken with the CoolPix that CuteFilmNerd gave me. I'm still kinda reeling.

What a sweet, wonderful man. How did I manage to luck out with this guy?

**************************
Now I’m taking the rest of the week off to get things done around the apartment (we were working only two days anyway). I haven’t been around much this past week, what with work and shopping and parties and travel, so the cats have been really missing me. Right now I’m surrounded by cats on the sofa. I’m going to be around so much this week that by the end of the week these cats are going to be ignoring me.

*taptaptap*

Is this thing on?

As has been painfully obvious, I have not been in the writing mood lately. Hence the automated weekly Twitter posts that keeps this blog from being completely barren of content – though I’m not sure if a week’s worth of tweets can be considered “content.” I believe “filler” would be the appropriate word.

Because my brain has been singularly barren of anything resembling creativity of late, I’ve decided to sign up for Holidailies 2009 (hence the festive button at the top of my left column). For those who are unfamiliar with Holidailies, the idea is to post a minimum of twenty entries from December 7th through January 6th, though daily posting is preferable. I’ve participated twice in the past – 2003 and 2004. I’ve got to find some way to jolt me out of my creative ennui. I also have to make sure that I don’t wimp out and use photos and links to videos for the majority of my posts. I’ve set myself to make sure that at least half of my entries contain actual writing. Writing that is done by me.

I’ve done it before. I’m positive that I can do it again.

Right?

*sigh*

musical interlude…

Haven’t done one of these in a very long time. Let’s change the format slightly:

While I watch a fair bit of TV, and even like some of it, there’s only one series currently on air for which I have an unbelievable amount of love: Scrubs. It’s crazy, loopy, corny and humanistic all at the same time and, even when it’s not very good, it’s one of the best shows out there.

It’s also got some great songs woven throughout the series, one of which is above. Scrubs has got to be commended for bringing Colin Hay back into the American limelight. Granted, in his Men at Work days, I liked his work well enough, but didn’t think much about it. However, Hay’s acoustic renditions of Beautiful World and Overkill are fantastic. I can hum/sing Overkill for days on end. And I have.

However, Beautiful World hits me in an unexpected place. The first time I listened to the lyrics I teared up, thinking about how sad it was that the protagonist of the song was merely settling for less:

And still this emptiness persists.
Perhaps this is as good as it gets.

That used to kill me.

But not now.

Somewhere over the last few weeks I listened to Beautiful World and thought, “Maybe he’s not settling for less. Maybe he’s just finding the joy in the little things.” And I brightened up a little.

Because sometimes the little things? Are the only places a person can find joy.

Silly sweet TV shows. Beloved music. Frightfully gorgeous musical movies. Stunning sunsets and landscapes. Staring out over the rolling ocean waves. Stroking and scratching kitties and puppies. Cuddling. Laughter.

The big things? Can disappear in an instant. Break a person’s heart. Make a body wonder why and where and when. Can come close to destroying someone who never saw it coming.

But the little things? They’re nearly always constant. They can usually be found even in the worst of times, if only for brief moments. Even after nights that are straight outta Overkill – nights where the thoughts and fears over the big things are so overwhelming that one is literally immobilized, uncertainties turning into terrors, the sneaking suspicion that one’s mind is just broken and why won’t it shut up, shut up, SHUT UP and let you sleep? One doesn’t want to take the pill, because it’ll just prove that you’re not as strong as you thought, not as strong as you used to be.

But one needs to sleep. One needs to calm the ghosts, however briefly, knowing that they’ll just come back again soon, and fall asleep in the arms of one’s love.

Because the little things? Will also return. And they’ll bring joy again.

busyness ensues…

So, yeah, there’s this thing going on, ya know? About folks wanting to be President of the United States and spending lots of money to let you know how they’d be a way better President of the United States than any of the other folks wanting to be President of the United States, not to say astronomically better than the current resident of the White House and his henchmen.

(Then again, any of my cats could be better at that job than Bush. I mean, whichever one got the job could just clean himself or throw up a hairball on national television and his approval rating would go through the roof. Then again, my cats do clean themselves and hork up hairballs in a very dignified manner. It’s a thrill to behold, really.)

I’ve already said who I’m supporting, but now I’m putting my volunteer hours where my mouth is: I’m helping out on the website for Los Angeles for Edwards. The design and initial build is being done by another fellow, but I’ll be helping with the expanded build and the maintenance. It’s what I do best. And I’ll be helping out at a 4th of July Picnic that Los Angeles for Edwards is co-sponsoring. Come on by if you’re in the area, and look for the person in the first half of the event that has “Global Warming” on her back. I’ll be happy to tell you all about John Edwards stands and plans re: Global Warming. And other stuff as they come up.

Of course, this is in addition to my continuing political work as a Tech Chair and Communications Vice-Chair/Secretary and Endorsements Secretary and…

Yeah, the craziness has come back. Yeesh.

adios, 2006…

…it was nice knowing you. And I mean that sincerely.

2006 marked an interesting time, I have to say. For the first time in a long time, the good outweighed the bad by such a huge margin that I almost can’t remember the bad.

It started out on a somber note, even though I was a little excited about it – unemployed, scared for the health of my mother as she struggled with newly diagnosed breast cancer, coming to grips with the likelihood that I’d be alone for the rest of my life in my little one bedroom Valley apartment with my cats.

Somewhere along the way I picked up as a publisher’s assistant for an Irish newspaper and webmaster for an incredible congressional candidate. Mom’s lumpectomy was wildly successful and now she’s doing very well. I decided that everyone else was right and that George Clooney was damned hot. Somehow my love life was jumpstarted and I went on a lot of first dates (though none of them were with George Clooney). I gained a roommate and a new apartment, though I lost my beloved neighborhood.

Unfortunately, I also lost my dearly beloved Noel, he who was my dearest companion – feline or human – for thirteen years. I’m still filled with extraordinary sadness and I wonder if I’ll ever stop missing him. Also, BabySis moved to Florida, which frequently causes the corners of my mouth to turn downwards. My health has been giving me quite the scare as of late, though nothing has yet been diagnosed. Pluto was demoted to dwarf planet status.

And now? I’m working at JPL, which excites me to no end. I’m making pretty okay money, which is nice for once. In a few weeks I’ll be running to be delegate to the California Democratic Party, which would be very interesting if I get it. I’ll be part of a progressive slate, which will up my chances of being elected.

But most astounding for me? I have a boyfriend. One I’ve been seeing for almost six months. And we’re still getting along very well. Like any couple, we have moments where there are arguments, but we talk it out and try to come to some sort of resolution. We love each other like crazy, which is a wonderful feeling. But we also have enough history between the two of us that our feet remain on terra firma even when our heads are in the clouds.

Turning 40 seemed to have worked out for me. Thank you, 2006.

Here’s hoping that 2007 is even better for all of us.

adios, 2006…

…it was nice knowing you. And I mean that sincerely.

2006 marked an interesting time, I have to say. For the first time in a long time, the good outweighed the bad by such a huge margin that I almost can’t remember the bad.

It started out on a somber note, even though I was a little excited about it – unemployed, scared for the health of my mother as she struggled with newly diagnosed breast cancer, coming to grips with the likelihood that I’d be alone for the rest of my life in my little one bedroom Valley apartment with my cats.

Somewhere along the way I picked up as a publisher’s assistant for an Irish newspaper and webmaster for an incredible congressional candidate. Mom’s lumpectomy was wildly successful and now she’s doing very well. I decided that everyone else was right and that George Clooney was damned hot. Somehow my love life was jumpstarted and I went on a lot of first dates (though none of them were with George Clooney). I gained a roommate and a new apartment, though I lost my beloved neighborhood.

Unfortunately, I also lost my dearly beloved Noel, he who was my dearest companion – feline or human – for thirteen years. I’m still filled with extraordinary sadness and I wonder if I’ll ever stop missing him. Also, BabySis moved to Florida, which frequently causes the corners of my mouth to turn downwards. My health has been giving me quite the scare as of late, though nothing has yet been diagnosed. Pluto was demoted to dwarf planet status.

And now? I’m working at JPL, which excites me to no end. I’m making pretty okay money, which is nice for once. In a few weeks I’ll be running to be delegate to the California Democratic Party, which would be very interesting if I get it. I’ll be part of a progressive slate, which will up my chances of being elected.

But most astounding for me? I have a boyfriend. One I’ve been seeing for almost six months. And we’re still getting along very well. Like any couple, we have moments where there are arguments, but we talk it out and try to come to some sort of resolution. We love each other like crazy, which is a wonderful feeling. But we also have enough history between the two of us that our feet remain on terra firma even when our heads are in the clouds.

Turning 40 seemed to have worked out for me. Thank you, 2006.

Here’s hoping that 2007 is even better for all of us.

writing a letter to santa…

cross-posted from Ordinary Goddess

Dear Santa…

Dear Santa,

This year I’ve been busy!

In June I gave Gryffud a kidney (1000 points). Last month I invaded Iraq, broke it, and couldn’t glue it back together before Mom got home (-1012 points). Last Tuesday I saved a busload of nuns in Angola (326 points). Last Friday I helped Kymm across the street (6 points). In February I gave Polarbeast some porn (-10 points). In August I helped Gralyn hide a body (-173 points)

Overall, I’ve been nice (137 points). For Christmas I deserve a Nintendo Wii!

Sincerely,
Ordinary Goddess

Write your letter to Santa! Enter your LJ username:

Wow, Gryffud, thanks for letting me donate that kidney. It made up for that whole Iraq thing. (I guess saving nuns helped too.) And I totally scored with the Wii! WooHoo!

Happy (Belated) Holidays to every one!

writing a letter to santa…

cross-posted from Ordinary Goddess

Dear Santa…

Dear Santa,

This year I’ve been busy!

In June I gave Gryffud a kidney (1000 points). Last month I invaded Iraq, broke it, and couldn’t glue it back together before Mom got home (-1012 points). Last Tuesday I saved a busload of nuns in Angola (326 points). Last Friday I helped Kymm across the street (6 points). In February I gave Polarbeast some porn (-10 points). In August I helped Gralyn hide a body (-173 points)

Overall, I’ve been nice (137 points). For Christmas I deserve a Nintendo Wii!

Sincerely,
Ordinary Goddess

Write your letter to Santa! Enter your LJ username:

Wow, Gryffud, thanks for letting me donate that kidney. It made up for that whole Iraq thing. (I guess saving nuns helped too.) And I totally scored with the Wii! WooHoo!

Happy (Belated) Holidays to every one!

cows are smarter than we think…

…at least the Common Cow is:


This was sent to me by one of my political compatriots. This lil’ Taurus girl is tickled pink by it.